If you have recently started hunting, then you may not be very confident about your shooting skills just yet. While target practice and active hunting sessions can help you to hone your skills, you can also get a leg up on your fellow hunters by making sure that you have the right gear. A proper 30 or 45 caliber rifle will work well for you, especially if you intend on hunting larger game. However, you should make sure that you mount a scope on the gun. There are many different scopes that are available to you. Consider the following tips so you know you are purchasing the right scope for your needs.

Choose the Right Magnification

Scopes for guns come in many different magnifications, and this helps hunters, mid-range target shooters, and army personnel track targets at different distances. Generally speaking, the magnification rate should allow the user to see their intended target at actual size or a bit larger when looking through the scope, as if the target were standing right in front of the gun.

While the largest magnification may seem ideal, this may actually make the deer, moose, bear, or other animal appear so large that it is impossible to track it and aim properly. You are more likely to see a highly focused and large patch of fur that blocks your view with no way of telling what part of the animal you are viewing. Of course, magnification that is too small may not help you at all with aiming.

Magnification Strengths

For general hunting purposes, it is best to choose a scope that has a magnification between four and seven. This will mean that objects will be four or seven times larger than normal when looking through the scope and they will look as though they are four to seven times closer to you. However, if you want to do some target shooting or if you intend on hunting animals that are more than 200 yards away, then one type of magnification may not cut it. You should instead invest in a scope with a variable magnification.

A variable magnification scope features a dial close to the eyepiece that allows you to increase and decrease the magnification depending on your needs. You should keep in mind that these scopes are usually more expensive than fixed magnification varieties. Also, the scope will need to bring in more light through the lenses or the image you see will appear dark. This means you will need to locate a scope with a large lens along the front to allow for this. 

Consider the Reticles

You will likely spend a lot of your time thinking about the magnification of the scope you want. While this is extremely important, you should also consider the part of the scope that actually allows you to aim and hit your intended target. This part is called the reticle, and it is the cross hairs that you see when you look through the scope. Many scopes will have the traditional cross hairs with a vertical and horizontal line that meet in the center of the viewing area. 

You can pick varieties that have thick lines on the outside and thin lines in the center so you can better position your aim. Other scopes feature dotted lines that will obscure less of your target. You can find reticles made up of circles and some varieties will have several lines across the viewing area that help you with basic measurements and elevations. To find the right reticle for your needs, try out the different scopes at your local hunting supply store to see which types of markings help and hinder your vision and aiming capabilities. You can also check out the site to learn more about your options.